Foster Parents of the Quarter

April 2017

Congratulations to Levi and Courtney Fritts!

Levi and Courtney live in Elgin, IL and have been nominated because of the devotion that they have provided to their foster children and those children’s biological parents. They have been foster parents for three years and have fostered five children, three of whom have returned home to their biological mother. This couple has been highly successful in building a relationship with the biological mother and continue to be a part of the children’s lives as a support to the family.

Levi and Courtney welcome children into their home and provide them with more than just love and support…they make great efforts to meet and exceed each of the children’s needs. They both make it their mission to advocate for all the foster children in their care. They also help to give the foster children life experiences that they might not otherwise have. They feel great satisfaction in watching their foster children experience many “first times” like swimming in the ocean or going to watch a movie in the movie theatre. They are a couple who strive to keep children active and ensure that they are cared for in all aspects of their lives. 

YSB is truly grateful to have such a caring foster family. Thank you so much for everything that you do!

Being a Foster Parent is a rewarding experience that can positively change the life of a child forever. YSB is looking for more people who are willing to open up their homes and their hearts to children in need. If you are interested in becoming a Foster Parent and would like more information about becoming a Foster Parent, please contact Kelley Lumpkin at 630-820-6303, or follow us to our website at www.ysbiv.org.

 

 

 

 

Foster Parents of the Quarter

January 2017

Congratulations to Darrell and Phyllis Salmon!

Darrell and Phyllis Salmon, of Poplar Grove, IL., have been chosen as our spotlight Foster parents for the 3rd quarter.  Mr. and Mrs. Salmon came out of retirement and took on three teenagers.  They adjusted their lives to the needs of the children.  They are willing to transport to school, sports and other clubs the children choose to be in.  This requires a lot of dedication and commitment.

Mr. and Mrs. Salmon are very active in the court process which takes up their personal time.  They have been very compliant with Case Worker/Licensing visits and each week they transport the children for therapy and wait for the 3 hour session and visit with parents.  They are very supportive and involved in the therapies and visits.

The children describe the Salmon’s as supportive, patient, good listeners, unbiased and non- judgmental. They are very committed to their well-being.  Each child expresses that they allow each to be themselves, and to express themselves.  They often state that they feel safe, loved and cared for.

The family’s favorite times are their group activities whether it is movie night or arts and crafts.

Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Salmon for your hard work and dedication to fostering.  Congratulations on making Foster parent of the Quarter.

 

 

Foster Parents of the Quarter

October 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Terrence & Christine Bugno!

Dr. Terrence Bugno and Christine (Rogers) Bugno came to YSB as a home of relative for their granddaughter. They not only took in their 2-year old granddaughter but also her pug, Abby. Dr. Bugno is an oncologist and director of his department. Christine has experiences in mediation work. Both have experiences with caring for special needs children and youth.

They jumped into fostering with both feet and were quickly licensed as relative caregivers. Shortly after that they converted their license to foster other children by taking PRIDE and completing the application form for DCFS’s traditional care homes. They have maintained contact with other PRIDE trainees from their class, joined the local McHenry County support group (listed in the “support contacts” of this newsletter) started by another YSB family and their friends, helped out their license worker at recruitment events, sent other families to the YSB recruiter to be foster families and are now asking about how to get others to support the agency financially and/or with physical needs. The Bugnos have embraced the work and spirit of foster care in a manner that is above and beyond all expectations!

Being a Foster Parent is a rewarding experience that can positively change the life of a child forever. YSB is looking for more people who are willing to open up their homes and their hearts to children in need. If you are interested in becoming a Foster Parent and would like more information about becoming a Foster Parent, please contact Kelley Lumpkin at 630-820-6303, or follow us to our website at www.ysbiv.org.

 

 

 

Foster Parent of the Quarter

August 2016

Congratulations to Deborah Schnupp!

The Youth Service Bureau of Illinois Valley has roughly 440 children in foster care.  In order to care for these children, we need a lot of caring foster parents.  Currently we have 250 foster parents throughout the 20 counties in North Central Illinois that we serve.  Each quarter we choose foster parent/parents to recognize for all that they do for the children who have been entrusted to their care.

Deborah Schnupp has been chosen as Foster Parent for the first quarter.  Deborah has always been involved with children.  She worked with the Girl Scouts for many years as well as a support person for the Illinois Mentor program for four years.  When she has free time she enjoys cross-stitch, puzzles, gardening, bowling and reading.

Deborah received her foster parent license to open her home to children who needed a safe and loving to home in which to live. She has taken on a medically fragile child that has shown great improvement in her care.  With her dedication to attending doctor appointments and therapy sessions in and out of her home, this child has made great strides.  Deborah’s hope is with the child’s hard work and her dedication toward his success, he will be able to walk independently in the future.

 

 

 

Foster Parents of the Quarter

April 2016

Congratulations to John and Cheryl Dreska!

Nearly 10 years ago John and Cheryl Dreska began their journey as foster parents. They had no idea how truly gratifying this journey would be.  Cheryl made the decision to become a licensed foster parent during her time as a teacher. She stated that when she was a teacher that it was obvious which children were in the foster care system as those children’s light didn’t always shine as bright.  She wanted to make sure that every child’s light had a chance to shine brightly amidst all of the trauma that they had experienced.  

John and Cheryl felt that by supporting children through foster care, they could give them a sense of normalcy.  Cheryl wanted to see children in the foster care system have a caring, stable home like her four biological children.  They both knew they had a lot of love and support to offer as they were already doing it daily with their own children. 

The biggest highlight as foster parents has been the adoption of four children, and they are currently in the process of adopting a fifth child. In the near future, they hope to take guardianship of two teenage girls that are currently placed in their home. They also stated that seeing a child make progress and change over time is a great pleasure for them. The Dreska family enjoys seeing the children grow into being their own person. It brings John and Cheryl great joy to see how far the children in their home have come and they’ve appreciated watching the healing process.

 

 

 

Foster Parents of the Quarter

March 2016

Congratulations to Pat Msseemmaa, our Foster parent of the Quarter!

“It is a gift to raise a child. They give life meaning!”

When visitors enter Pat Msseemmaa’s home, they are greeted with the warm, rich colors coming from the eclectic African and European art lining the walls and within the objects that fill up the shelves acquired from her travels throughout the years. Upon speaking with her, you realize that this kaleidoscope of color gives an accurate indication to just how openly warm and loving Pat is; she imbues a life of caring, color, and most importantly, heart!

Pat has been a foster parent with YSB for many years. She began her foster care journey through DCFS alongside her husband, Martin, who worked in licensing for DCFS in a career that spanned 24 years. For many of those years, the couple hosted emergency and crisis children as well as a few long term kids to whom they connected with.  

After her husband passed away a few years ago, Pat found herself wondering if she could continue on in foster care all by herself. She was nervous and scared that she wouldn’t have enough support in dealing with some of the harsh issues that arise along the way. When one of YSB’s crisis counselor’s gave her the encouragement she needed to continue, she pursued her re-certification. Since then, she has felt great comfort in knowing that she can contact her foster care friends at YSB with any questions day or night, or ask for direct help even if it is in the middle of the night, on weekends, and on holidays. There is always someone there to help her to help these children succeed in life.

In regards to how she views being a foster parent, Pat explains that “no job is as challenging or as important as raising a child, it is a gift to raise a child. They give life meaning”. The children find comfort in the warm demeanor of foster care parents like Pat, even though they are caught in a system that they don’t want to be a part of.

Over the years Pat has kept a scrap book for each child that has entered her care. When each child leaves her care she gives them a card telling them what she admires and loves about them. She feels that these children don’t need any more criticism in their lives, that they are searching for love like everybody else and that if she can be the first voice to tell them what kind of good resides inside of them, then she has greatly succeeded in her job. 

Pat is pictured alongside her adored (and friendly!) foster pup, Jenny.

Being a Foster Parent is a rewarding experience that can positively change the life of a child forever. YSB is looking for more people who are willing to open up their homes and their hearts to children in need. If you are interested in becoming a Foster Parent and would like more information about becoming a Foster Parent, please contact Kelley Lumpkin at 630-820-6303, or follow us to our website at www.ysbiv.org.

 

 

Foster Parents of the Quarter

October 2015

Darcy and Jesus Mateo

 Congratulations to Darcy and Jesus Mateo for being foster parents of the quarter!  They have been nominated for all the love and dedication they have provided for the foster children who have entered their home.  Darcy and Jesus have been foster parents since April 2013. Since they have been licensed they have fostered five foster children, two of which are specialized.  They are in the process of finalizing their adoption of one of the two specialized children they have fostered. 

Not only do Darcy and Jesus work tirelessly with the foster children that are in their home they are involved in their church as overseers of the Direct Care Ministry, and Group coaches to train other leaders to who want to lead different church groups. Jesus also works full-time in the financial industry and Darcy has an in home day care.  She at one point stopped doing day care to accommodate the needs of the foster children that were new to their home.

They are fortunate to have two wonderful adult sons, one of which has a baby due at any time.  Darcy and Jesus state that being a foster parent is a great experience and they enjoy sharing information to others who are interested in becoming foster parents. Darcy and Jesus are in the process of implementing a foster care advocate group through their church. They feel they are blessed to get to help with children’s lives, help them through any issues that arise, see them grow, and build self-confidence.  Darcy and Jesus are true advocates for children.

We cannot thank Darcy and Jesus enough for everything that have done and everything that they continue to do.  We are truly thankful to have them as foster parents!

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Being a Foster Parent is a rewarding experience that can positively change the life of a child forever. YSB is looking for more people who are willing to open up their homes and hearts to children in need. If you are interested in becoming a Foster Parent, and would like more information about becoming a Foster Parent, please contact Kelly Lumpkin at 630-820-6303.

 

 

Foster Parent of the Quarter

July 2015

Karen Sanfilippo

Congratulations to our first YSB Foster Parent of the Quarter – Karen Sanfilippo! Karen has been a foster parent for 5 years, and in that time she has cared for over 20 children. She was nominated for this award due to her work with teenage foster children. Two of her placements have graduated from high school and continued on to College. Karen is a single mom, with 3 adult children and a 10 year old son at home. She also has 2 grandchildren and works full-time. She is involved in her community, and serves on a local Football board. Karen believes that keeping children busy and involved in activities, such as wrestling, helps them to cope and heal. Thank you, Karen, for everything you have done!